Friday, August 31, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

A full, Blue Moon is now rising, now that the sun has set on a truly beautiful last day of August.  Two full moons in one month qualify tonight's glow for the Blue Moon honor.

The U.S. Open Tennis tournament is now underway in our NYC borough of Queens.  I have watched some of the matches on television, and look forward to seeing more in the coming week.  Sometimes the players have to deal with intense heat and humidity, but so far this time around, they are quite lucky to not have the weather as an on court factor.

Earlier this week, I had great fun meeting my friend Elizabeth for a stroll downtown for lunch at Tea & Sympathy, a tiny Greenwich Village restaurant that contains a lot of British atmosphere in its menu and ambiance.

We arrived just as the T&S was opening for lunch and were able to claim a prime circular table by a window.  We shared an assortment of finger sandwiches, and this entitled me to my very own plate honoring a certain Royal Couple.  It's cucumber with cream cheese that joins Kate and William in the following photo.

It was such fun chatting away with Elizabeth, that we took a while to take charge of the sandwich assortment.  They were all delicious.

Of course, tea was called for, and we also felt it wise to add summer pudding for me and sticky toffee pudding for Elizabeth to our order.

Lots of perfectly ripe berries in that summer pudding.  The sticky toffee pudding with custard spoke for itself in a completely traditional way.

Eventually, we did leave the restaurant and benefited from a leisurely walk back uptown.  There is something truly priceless about visiting with friends.

The next few days saw me back at work.  The city seemed rather quiet during this week, which marks the end of many summer holidays.  Monday is our Labor Day, and for many will be a holiday.  Very soon many schools will start their fall semesters.

Some of the trees in Central Park are now showing a little bit of yellowing around the edges of their leaves.  Most of the trees' leaves are still deep green.  The lawns are still lush, and roses are still blooming.  

Tonight, after yet another pasta concoction, I enjoyed a perfectly ripe nectarine with rich cream and a few cookies (not home baked.)  The farmers markets continue to provide green veg, tomatoes, nectarines, plums, peaches.  Other earlier crops are beginning to show their age.

Sharing my table tonight with the nectarine is a refreshing glass of iced coffee, with lots of milk.  With the help of this coffee, I hope to be able to stay awake, in order to be able to watch some of tonight's tennis matches.  I am relieved that this week's Republican Party national convention has now ended.  

Our election date will arrive on the first Tuesday in November.  Perhaps I will be able to refrain from any post that might directly address this election.

This week I was delighted to receive a treat, via the Royal Mail.  I am now reading an advance copy of Move Over Darling, the most recent novel by Christine Stovell.  Chris is a born story teller, and I am really enjoying reading this book that is set in both Wales and New York City.  I do recommend your getting a hold of Move Over Darling when it is officially published this October.

My apartment now features various emerging towers of projects awaiting my time and attention.  Books, sketchbooks, pencils, pens, paint, brushes, yarns, crochet hooks, knitting needles, colorful fabric, embroidery threads and needles.  It seems that my diminished hours at the shop have quickly been appropriated by so many other interests.

It's all quite wonderful, and I have always found autumn to be a very energizing season.  Perhaps many of you all might feel the same?


  1. Hello Frances:
    So very many goodly things are contained within this post, not least of course a meeting with Elizabeth, whose posts we very much enjoy, and a very delicious sounding lunch with, as it happens, one of our all time favourites, Summer Pudding.

    Alas, we cannot share your enthusiasm for tennis and wish that we could for we do recognize it as the most civilised of games and, secretly, rather wish that we had learnt to play. But without a television that, and other sports, completely pass us by.

    But where reading is concerned it is always good to have a new recommendation. Lucky you with an advance copy!

    We very much hope that you are enjoying the Labour Day weekend, something which we imagine is peculiar to the United States.

  2. Love the description of your tea, Frances. Why did I never discover such places when I was in New York. I too am enjoying Chris' new novel, which has emerged, I gather, on Kindle today. The trouble with your election is that it affects so much of the rest of the world. I have my fingers crossed.

  3. I love that you always present your meals as beautifully as one of your paintings - truly a feast for the eyes! And, like Fennie, we missed the T&S when we were in New York which is another good reason to return!

    Thank you for being so kind as to mention my book (and say such nice things) - I had a surprise today to see it out on Kindle. Now I start to get nervous as my new baby goes out into the world!

  4. Now I feel hungry for some cake after reading about your lovely lunch. It seems you had a good day with your friend.
    I was catching up on your visit to the dentist. On Sunday I am getting my eyes tested as I know I need some new glasses. It will mean my cheque book ! Thankfully my teeth passed the test a few weeks ago.
    It was lovely to find your comment, you always give me such praise and encouragement. I think you would have been a wonderful teacher, did you ever consider it as a career? I always enjoy reading your enthusiasm in all you do, and pleased to hear about the many creative projects. Hope you are having something tasty for tea.
    Enjoy your weekend. Millyx

  5. What lovely meals you have enjoyed. I know what you mean about Autumn. Sometimes September feels more like the start of a new year than January to me.

  6. Frances,
    Loved your take on our little outing! I have added a link to your name which I forgot to do before. Yes, it was so much better at T & S when it wasn't so crowded.
    Your Spode Italian supper plates are somewhat familiar.....!
    Yes, I won't mention the election either --we'll leave all that to Nicky Perry..........
    Hope you have a wonderful not too busy weekend.

  7. No, please not the election, Frances!
    Your tea treats look gorgeous.

  8. I do like to read about your jaunts with Elizabeth...T&S looks lovely. Over on this side of the pond we get excited to stumble across any eatery which is New York inspired! September is energizing and I cannot get enough of the feeling of new beginnings it brings with it each year. Enjoy September and I look forward to seeing your projects x

  9. Your week sounds good Frances. You have been busy! Have fun the coming week again at work!

    Love, Madelief x

  10. I am hoping so! I always feel sad that summer is over, but it has been such a non-existent summer here, so maybe autumn will be something to look forward to.

    Pomona x

  11. Love the description of your tea. It sounds perfect. And I agree with you about autumn being energizing. I always feel much more inclined to make New Year's resolutions and changes in September than on January 1st. Usually by New Year's, I am worn out, out of energy, out of ideas, and I just want to huddle under a blanket with a mug of tea and a book. But in September I feel I can lick the world. Or at least some of the problems here in my own house! Have a great Labor Day weekend. xox Carol

  12. Isn't it wonderful that meetings with blogging friends so often turn into a real treat. One feels one knows the other person well and there is no need for the initial period of 'sizing' one another u, as there so often is when meeting complete strangers.

    It looks like you have your autumn pleasure well planned and waiting to be taken up, a new season, a new beginning.

    American politics are not a subject I enjoy, they appear rather uncivilised (they do everywhere, of course) but your new president will hav such an impact on the rest of the world.

    Your summer pudding looks highly calorific, the cream would kill me, so I am glad I don't feel tempted at all.

  13. Frances,
    such lovely reports from your wondrous city, thank you!
    So nice to hear about your meeting Elizabeth for a special tea time (thinking of the "six degrees of separation" theory - fewer in our case, since Elizsabeth has met an old friend of mine).

    I feel almost upset when people start talking about fall in the air as soon as August arrives (I much rather continue to enjoy summer without thinking ahead). Once August leaves, I get into late summer mood, and then Indian summer, and then, my autumn arrives. ;-)


  14. Such enjoyment
    when I read your sharing.
    It makes me even more familar
    with the city
    my granddaughter is now calling home.
    Love the deserts and since I have no weight problem they gave me some ideas :)

  15. Just as the Paralympics hardly features in your television schedules I'm missing the tennis here :(

    Sight of that summer has made my mouth water!

  16. Correction, sight of that summer pudding!

  17. What a lovely post Frances. I read over at Elizabeth's about the British day - and it made me smile - your pics are are your meals. You so sound happy with all your projects on the go - I share the anticipation that autumn always seems to bring.

  18. Awesome tea, and delightful book story.

    I just discovered what they serve at breakfast in Buckingham Palace. Royalty. Or Royal tea.

    Thanks for the story and pictures.

  19. I, too, feel energized by the coming of fall and am finding myself baking and sewing and even contemplating some cleaning!

    Your lunch sounds lovely. I adore cucumber sandwiches.

    I try to keep most of my political views out of my blog but I speak my mind on Facebook.

  20. Ooh, the delicious treats in these image sre making me a little jealous Franes! I am becoming more fond of September with each passing year.

  21. Your nectarines are looking very delish.
    Do not refrain from nectarines whatever you do!
    But do I dare to eat a peach..?

  22. That sounds like a delicious lunch, Frances! Your new projects all ready and waiting sound is a great time of year to start new crafty things. I love September, and always feel energised as autumn begins. Wishing you a happy new week.
    Helen x

  23. Dear Frances,
    Lovely reading your posts,seeing your artistic creations and reading & feeling your always gay and fresh view of our old city. which really
    is a country all to itself.

    This week we wish for you a very happy upcoming birthday and hope to have a toast with you soon.

    Best wishes,
    Michael & Kitt

    In this vastly changing city, I am
    sort of amazed that all the various
    NYC apartment buildings(8) I have lived in since 1941 are still with us.

  24. Frances, I wonder if Tea and Sympathy was named after the movie of the same name with Deborah Kerr? A wonderful film if you have not seen it.
    I too refrain from politics on my blog, just hope everyone votes.....
    Lovely post